Fall Preview – September & October

The Magnificent Seven

As our climate stubbornly refuses to recognize fall, one of the signals that fall has arrived (because we couldn’t tell from the temperature) is the different tone movies take. They go from popcorn blockbusters to more action thrillers and dramas beginning in September, leading up to the awards season. This is when the studios premiere their best hopes for nominations, but the best of those usually dribble out between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. Beginning in about two weeks, though, superheroes will take a hiatus until next summer. So long, Superman. This is what’s coming up soon:

“The Light Between Two Oceans” stars Michael Fassbender and recent Oscar winner Alicia Vikander as a couple living on a remote lighthouse island. When an abandoned baby washes ashore in a small boat, the couple takes it as their own. Oscar winner Rachel Weisz also stars as the mother of the baby, who eventually comes into their lives. This one sounds like a tearjerker. Sept. 1

September also brings two biopics: “Sully” (Sept. 9) and “Snowden” (Sept. 23). Tom Hanks stars as the commercial pilot who landed a jetliner on the Hudson and faced down a tense investigation while being publicly lauded as a hero. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the part of Eric Snowden, the spy who blew the lid off NSA secrets and is currently exiled, living in Moscow.

“The Magnificent Seven” is a new take on the old western with Denzel Washington in the lead and Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke saddling up, too. It’s the old story of the town baddie (Peter Sarsgaard) oppressing the townsfolk until this band of misfits, outlaws and bounty hunters come riding in to save the day. This is a remake of the 1960 movie that was actually drawn from the Akira Kurosawa classic “Seven Samurai.” Sept. 23

From the Dan Brown bestsellers, Tom Hanks returns for the third time as the intrepid doctor Robert Langdon, who seems to put things together a lot faster than the average human. Good thing, too. This time in “Inferno,” it’s a global biological threat that leads him to the clues found in Dante’s work. Felicity Jones joins the team as a colleague and a love interest. Sept. 28

Based on the Paula Hawkins’ bestselling beach read of last summer, “The Girl on the Train” is in the oeuvre of “Gone Girl,” only David Fincher is not directing this one. Emily Blunt plays the unfortunate girl on that train. It’s obvious from the same release date used for “GG” two years ago that hopes are high for another hit for the targeted female audience. We’ll see. Oct. 7

“The Birth of a Nation” is an early serious awards contender from writer/director Nate Parker, who has already generated negative publicity for a long ago incident in his personal life. The film, itself, not to be confused with the D.W. Griffith classic, is said to be very good covering of that period of history when slave Nat Turner (also played by Nate Parker) staged an insurrection to protest the violence against slaves. Oct. 7

“The Accountant” looks intriguing from the trailer. It stars Ben Affleck as a savant with numbers who masquerades as a mild mannered CPA when in reality he’s a money launderer for some of the most powerful criminals in the world. He catches the attention of law enforcement, and the body count starts to rise. Also starring J.K. Simmons and Anne Kendrick. Oct. 14